New changes to Ga's wastewater rule - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New changes to Ga's wastewater rule

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October 26, 2005

Valdosta - Georgia Department of Natural Resource board members voted 13 to three Wednesday to approve a controversial rule change in Georgia's wastewater policy. The change eliminates a section of the policy that states "the level of treatment required is the highest and best practicable under existing technology."

Environmentalists say the change will make it easier for industries to dump treated wastewater into so-called high quality waterways. But many municipalities argue that the rule change is necessary to prevent expenses that will do little to improve water quality.

E.P.D. Director Carol Couch recommended the change, and says it puts the state rule in line with federal regulations, while keeping our water supply safe. "This vote will keep our water quality high in the sense that we have to balance off both the economic ability and affordability of municipalities to treat with our water quality standard," said Couch.

The board also recommended selling "deadhead" logs that have sunk to the bottom of Georgia rivers. That's been illegal in Georgia since 1998, but the state Legislature decided earlier this year to allow it.

The board will take final action on the price and rules of deadhead logging in early December.

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